Loras College Campaign Quarterly


There is no doubt that the generous gifts to the Inspiring Lives & Leadership campaign have made a positive difference on campus. While the campaign has provided resources for a variety of key projects, one is a favorite new tradition on campus: the Loras Legacy Symposium. The inaugural event was held in 2014.

This year's event features the work of 355 students and 23 faculty members representing every major at the College.

Cherly JacobsenProvost Cheryl Jacobsen, Ph.D., said of the symposium, "For students, it is an opportunity to present their best work in a professional conference. It is also an opportunity for students to support and congratulate their peers—and to be proud of the educational experiences Loras Colleges offers them. For faculty and staff, it is an opportunity to see the quality and diversity of the intellectual and creative work of the whole College, and an opportunity to model life-long engagement with learning and creative pursuits."

The symposium was made possible through the generosity of a single donor: Monsignor James Barta, a 1952 Loras graduate and former Loras College president.

"I am one person among many contributing to the stability of the College. By increasing the financial stability of the College, we continue to make possible and expand all of the very good things Loras does as a faith-based college," said Barta.

While the Legacy Symposium is providing a forum for academic dialogue, other donations are ensuring Loras students shine against regional and national level contenders from Ivy League and major state institutions. With your support, Loras students and programs consistently end up in the national spotlight.

One gift funded an initiative that continues to gain national attention and provide students with unique experience - the Loras College Poll, directed by Chris Budzisz, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, with assistance from Matt Rissler, Ph.D., associate professor

Chris Budziszof mathematics. To date, the poll has registered more international and domestic media attention than any other initiative at Loras.

"The Loras College Poll commenced in the spring of 2014. In that year, we released seven surveys and garnered significant state, regional and national media attention," Budzisz remarked.

The Loras College Poll results have appeared in online and print publications across the country, including USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, CNN and MSNBC. In addition, the Loras College Poll has influenced the predictive models of statistician and author Nate Silver and Princeton University's Sam Wang. "We have even made international reporting in places such as China, India and Spain. In short, it has been a remarkable first year," Budzisz commented.

Funded through an anonymous gift, this public opinion survey program provides rich, first-hand experience for students in a variety of majors including politics, analytics and sociology. The poll will continue to take advantage of Loras' location in Iowa, as a key caucus state, surveying current events, social and economic issues, politics and more.

"At the heart of the Poll is the group of student researchers who assist the team with creating the questions, as well as analyzing and publishing results. It is a truly unique experience for students as they learn about survey methodology first-hand, and it is an opportunity that is only made possible by the generosity of donors," Budzisz remarked. "The Loras College Poll is an example of how Loras is providing the type of student experience that makes this place so special."

To make a gift in support of academic programs, contact Mark Brewer in the Development Office at mark.brewer@loras.edu or by calling (563) 588-4985.

  • To hear Provost Jacobsen and Professor Budzisz discuss how campaign gifts are aiding academics go to Loras.edu/giving/academics.
Campaign Progress

Recently, the College received a generous cash donation from Patrick ('63) and Neva "Nege" Curoe. Funds from the gift will be used to establish the Patrick J. and Neva G. Curoe Cascade Area Scholarship, awarding a minimum of $2,500 per year to students who demonstrate financial need. Scholarship preference will be given to those who have an affiliation with Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fillmore, Iowa.

Patrick has deep roots in rural Dubuque County and was raised on a farm near Fillmore. He attended Loras Academy as a Golden Gub for his high school education, graduating in 1959. Upon graduation, he enrolled at Loras College and received his bachelor's degree in business in 1963.

Following Loras College, Patrick began a career in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Spain, Vietnam, Ohio, Japan, Germany and Air Force Bases in Colorado and Texas. While on active duty in Spain, he earned a Master of Science in systems management from the University of Southern California. In 1991, he retired from the military with the rank of colonel after serving for 28 years.

Patrick is currently active in the U.S. Military's Retired Officers Association, the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the National Defense Transportation Association and the American Legion. After retirement, he was a consultant in Oman for

several years and returned to Spain as a contractor, serving as the program manager for the U.S. Air Force Base maintenance contract outside of Seville. Patrick's wife, Nege, graduated in 1964 from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama—where Bishop Mathias Loras was the first president—with a bachelor's degree in secondary education. The couple currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, and has two sons, Glenn and Lee.

"One of the most satisfying parts of my job is to learn of the generous support of alumni and friends to Loras. However, knowing that Pat and Nege wanted to assist future generations of Loras students in the same way they were supported during their educational journeys, is perhaps most gratifying. They have never forgotten their roots," said Loras President Jim Collins ('84).

Curoes"I never forgot where I came from—Sacred Heart Parish and the surrounding Fillmore/Cascade area are in my DNA," said Patrick. "Nege and I are blessed to be able to give something back to the College and provide scholarship aid for students from around my childhood home. We hope our gift inspires others to give at whatever charitable level is affordable for those in the Loras community."


Loras Bleile, a first-generation Duhawk from Dubuque, received his bachelor's degree in business from Loras College in 1967. This steered him into his current career as a real estate appraiser, and led him to give back to his alma mater by supporting current Duhawks.

When Bruce Kotowich, associate professor of music, moved to Dubuque in 2007, Bleile represented him when he purchased his home. When the Loras College Choir was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City June 2014, this unique relationship contributed to Bleile's interest in supporting the trip. Without the help of Bleile, his wife Carrie and other financial supporters, this once in a lifetime trip never would have happened.

BleileThe Bleiles have also assisted students in showcasing their talents internationally, providing support for the Loras College mediation team to travel to London in February 2015 to compete in the 14th Annual International Law School Mediation Championships. Loras was the only undergraduate school invited to represent the United States, and through the generosity of the Bleiles, Lucas Tully ('17) (Dubuque, Iowa), Dallas Knapp ('17) (Bloomington, Illinois) and Gabriela Herrera ('15) (Evergreen Park, Illinois) were able to compete against 59 other institutions from Europe, Asia, North America and the Pacific Rim.

Loras LCTV Station of the year - ICMA

Loras has been fortunate to benefit from the good advice of a true champion of Catholic higher education. Fr. John Schlegel, S.J. ('66) was raised in Dubuque. After attending Loras Academy and Wahlert High School, he enrolled at Loras College. A Jesuit retreat he attended in the spring of his first year was the impetus for him leaving Loras and joining the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Schlegel attended St. Louis University and the University of London, was ordained, and earned a doctorate from Oxford University in international relations in 1977.

Schlegel began his professional career on the faculty of Creighton University, becoming the assistant academic vice president in 1978. He went on to hold administrative positions at Rockhurst College, Marquette University and John Carroll University, becoming president of the University of San Francisco in 1991. He returned to Creighton as president in 2000, and his tenure was marked by unprecedented growth, including completing the $450 million Willing to Lead fundraising campaign. The position at Creighton allowed him the opportunity to be a catalyst for diversity, help the poor and support the arts. He also served the city of Omaha, the national higher education community and helped promote economic development in third-world countries.

In 2011, Schlegel retired from Creighton and became publisher and president of America Press, Inc. In 2014, he was named pastor of the Church of Gesu in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and chaplain at Marquette University.

Thankfully, over the years, Schlegel has never forgotten where his higher education journey began. He has served as a member of the Loras College Board of Regents and in 2007 was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the College. Most recently, he has graciously consulted on the Inspiring Lives & Leadership campaign as a founding member of the steering committee.

  • Recently, Father Schlegel was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Visit loras.edu/Giving/FrJohnSchlegelLetter to read a letter he wrote to his parish relaying the news of his illness. We ask that you please keep Father Schlegel in your prayers.

The Loras College community lost one of its own in December 2014, when the Reverend Monsignor Robert R. Vogl ('44) passed away at the age of 94.

Vogl, a Cedar Rapids native, entered the seminary and became a priest in the Archdiocese of Dubuque when he was ordained by Archbishop Henry P. Rohlman in 1947. He began teaching at Loras Academy in 1948, and in 1952 was assigned to Loras College. At Loras, Vogl filled a number of positions including professor of religious studies, chair of the department of religious studies, spiritual director and later, rector of St. Pius X Seminary. He received the Prelate of Honor on July 4, 1987.

In 1995, Vogl retired from teaching and served as chaplain at Marian Hall, Mt. Carmel, in Dubuque. He lived for many years in Hennessy Hall on the Loras campus, later moving to Villa Raphael and ultimately to Stonehill Care Center, both in Dubuque.

Those who knew the monsignor consistently describe him as a shining example of the Christian message, with an enduring humility and devotion to faith and family.

  • A celebration of Vogl's life was held in Nativity Church, with Archbishop Michael Jackels presiding. Monsignor James Barta ('52) gave a poignant homily which can be viewed at loras.edu/Giving/MsgrRobertVoglHomily.

Msgr. Vogl established a scholarship at Loras prior to his passing. Donations in honor of his memory will be added to his scholarship. To make a memorial gift, please contact Eric Solberg in the Development Office at eric.solberg@loras.edu or by calling 563-588-7969.

Loras College
Loras College
Campaign Committee: Campaign Chair Tom Tauke ('72), Father John Schlegel ('66), Paul Breitbach ('60), William Lynch ('64),
Jim Theisen ('56), Mary Finnegan, Theresa Hoffman ('81), Don Ulrich ('58)